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Barcelona hosts 5,000-person non-socially distanced concert

Five thousand Spanish music fans attended a non-socially distanced concert at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi on Saturday, with fans required to wear high-quality face masks provided by the concert organisers.

The 17,000-capacity venue saw Spanish indie-pop band Love of Lesbian (pictured) perform to a masked crowd, who were also required to present a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken the same day.

The event is being used to test the strategy’s effectiveness in preventing outbreaks at future cultural events.

Ticket buyers were able to take an antigen test at one of three venues in the city, with a negative result allowing them to attend the event and mix freely while inside.

Fans were notified of their results via their mobile phones, with those eligible receiving a code validating their tickets. People with heart disease, cancer, or those who have been in contact with someone infected by COVID-19 in recent weeks were asked not to sign up.

According to the organisers, the event was the largest commercial event held in Europe since the pandemic began over a year ago.

Tickets for the sold-out show were between €23 and €28 and included the cost of the test and mask provided at the venue.

The concert was able to go ahead due to permission from the Spanish health authorities. It was backed by experts of Barcelona’s The Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundation, which also organised a case study around a smaller concert of 500 people in December.

Attendees of Saturday’s 5,000-person concert agreed public health authorities can inform the team led by Dr Boris Revollo, the virologist involved in the design of the health protocols, if they contract coronavirus in the weeks after the concert.

The information will then be analysed and compared to infection rates among the wider population to indicate whether or not mixing at the concert caused any infection.

Image: Alterna2 http://www.alterna2.com / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size